Istanbul

 

Why do I love this city?

This is not my first time visiting this beautiful city and each time I find new things to explore. I love the fact that Istanbul is the only city in the world that encompasses both Asia and Europe. I love that it has so much to offer in terms of mosques, markets and museums. I love the Turkish delights especially the baklava. I love that in every corner you feel the rich history and culture.

Where to stay?

Room Mate is a chain that offers boutique hotels in 12 cities, including New York, Madrid and Miami. We stayed at the Room Mate Kerem in Istanbul, which is located in the Beyoglu district. Few meter from Istiklal Street, famous for the shopping, food and cafes, and 1 km from Taksim.

The rooms have a charming and stylish décor and offer either street or gardens views. The staff is very sweet and they are always here to assist you and accommodate your requests. There is a Spa that offers and indoor pool, Jacuzzi and Sauna.

If you book take the deluxe room and ask for a nice view!

I highly recommend this place because the price was good, the quality and service was excellent!

 

Where to eat?

·      Journey

Located on one of Cihangir’s liveliest streets, Journey is a cozy restaurant that reflects the character of the neighborhood: international, modern, and laid-back. The menu at Journey is well thought out and lovingly executed, offering something for everyone, from classic Turkish home-cooked meals with a contemporary twist to homemade pastas and pizzas, salads, and meat dishes

·      The house café

The cafe became well known with its seasonal and fresh ingredients providing food, wide range of beverages and cosy environment. The House Café became a chain in 2005 with its second branch opened in Tünel.  Today, The House Café operates in 10 separate branches. Tke a break from the shopping and go to the house café on Istiklal street. You must try their Quinoa salad.

·      Limonlu bahce

This place is truly a gem! If you are looking for a hidden oasis in the middle of the city then this is the place. The food, the service and the ambiance, everything was amazing!

·      Zencefil

This place is a vegetarian restaurant and many items on the menu are homemade with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu includes many wholesome dishes including salads, quiches, and pie

·      Karakoy gulluoglu

Güllüoğlu is the most well-known baklava names in town. This is the place where all the locals go for tea and baklava. Try the walnut baklava.

·      Coffee Brew Lab

Good coffee, wonderful location and great spot! Try the carrot cheese cake, it’s amazing!

 

What to do?

One thing that is an absolut must do is a Hamam! You can check my previous post to read more about the Hamam that I went to. In any case there are plenty of hamams to choose from. 

Another very nice activity to do is the Sufi dance also known as the dervishes ceremony. The best place to catch a dervishes performance is at the Galata Mevlevi Museum. It is located not far from Tunel at the end of istiklal Cadessi. You can only buy tickets on location and it costs around 70 TL.